By Bob Hoekstra
By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises... And He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." (2 Peter 1:4 and Matthew 4:19)
As we have seen, faith is the proper response to the promises of God. Let us now return to individual consideration of God's wonderful promises. They are so wonderful that the scriptures describe them as "exceedingly great and precious." The promises of God (which are deserving of our trust) are "exceedingly great." They are far beyond magnificent. The root of this word gives us our English prefix, "mega"(as in "mega-bomb" or "mega-celebrity"). The promises of God are also "precious." They are priceless. They are beyond what any human or temporal treasure could ever secure.
One of God's "exceedingly great and precious promises" is linked to Jesus' call to discipleship. This call was an invitation to come and pursue after Him. "And He said to them, 'Follow Me' ." The Lord Jesus wants people to develop a life with Him. He wants us to build a relationship with Him. For all who will humbly focus their days on earth in a quest after Him, Jesus makes this magnificent promise. "I will make you." As we follow after Him, we can count on His fulfilling the promise to remake us. These men He addressed were "fishers of fish." Jesus promised to make them "fishers of men." "From now on you will catch men" (Luke 5:10).
The critical point is that Jesus would be the one changing these men. In this situation, He speaks of changing them from those who caught fish (for a temporal fishing business) to those who would catch men (for the eternal kingdom of God). Yet, in every situation, He is the one to rely upon for a changed life. It is amazing what people (even believers in Jesus Christ) will do to try to change their lives. They will sign up for every new program that comes through town (or is offered over national television). They will commit themselves to years of humanistic, speculative therapy. They will follow gurus to every continent on earth. They will even make endless lists of promises to God to do better or try harder. Yet, all of this is to no avail. God's plan for transformation of life is to believe in His promise. "I will make you." God wants to be the cause that produces the effect of a transformed life. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:10).
Yes, by the grace of God, transformation of life is available by faith in the promises of God. If we are willing to humbly pursue after a developing relationship with the Lord of life, He promises to make us into what He wants us to be.
Lord Jesus, thank You for being so patient with me through all my futile attempts to change myself. Please remind me daily to seek after You, knowing that I can count on You to be transforming me into what You want me to be, Amen.